FOCUS ON FUNCTION NOT FORM

How many times have you seen a product that looks really beautiful and sexy yet its usabilty sucks ? It would be great if it looked great and acted great like nearly all Apple products.

When designing, focusing on the function is what matters, because that’s the core issue.

Think Abstract !

we all know “What are we Designing”..that’s easy, but do we know “Why are we Designing” ?

Everyone of us has his different answer to the “why”, but here is mine:

The user will experience my interface for an finite amount of time, can I draw a smile upon his face after this experience ends ?

Yes to me it’s that simple :)

Many successful web interfaces have great function but concerning design they are not very catchy, Let’s take a look:

Craigslist

http://craigslist.org/ Ranked #9 in the US and #47 worldwide (measured today)

240 million visits per month

To me craigslist is a role-model, and it sends a clear message

Here is what you want period ! no popups, no loading gifs, no distracting images

Craigslist Screen Shot Usabilty

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/ Ranked #5 in the US and #11 worldwide (measured today)

340 million visits per month

Amazon looks much better than craigslist but the design is not very catchy, they use the default bullet style, there are no frames and borders. But in the end you leave amazon with a smile on your face because “You achieved your Goal”

Amazon Screenshot

The Drudge Report

http://www.drudgereport.com/ Ranked #78 in the US and #437 worldwide (measured today)

18 million visits per month

A very simple news aggregation site run by one man!

the drudge report

What makes them Great ?

All these interfaces were not built by top designers, they were simply built by the guys who had the idea. Actually Sergey and Larry designed the simple Google interface not because they adopted Minimalism but because believe it or not they didn’t know how to code lots of things and style tables :) at the end Google gives you what you need..fullstop.

These interfaces are successful because the founders focused on the main function of the interface, and didn’t waste time on other design crap !

It’s not About Design, It’s How things Work

Steve Jobs on Design

Focus on Function, Not Form.

A final remark, I don’t mean to ignore the Form..I mean the main energy should be focused towards the function of the system, then usability and finally the form.

 

Author: Mahmoud El-Magdoub
Twitter: @Magdoub
WebSite: Magdoub.com
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